Our Team

Iris Benson-Sulzer

Special Assistant to the Executive Director

Iris is a creative thinker and motivated researcher who is passionate about reforming systems that divide and harm our communities. She sees transforming the criminal legal system as essential to creating opportunities for everyone to thrive. Iris genuinely enjoys learning and continuously seeks to better understand both the historical decisions that brought us to the place we are today and the opportunities for change that are possible now. 


In her first year as Special Assistant to the Executive Director, Iris has strengthened development and operations processes, helped secure and maintain funding, and worked to keep us organized and on schedule. She also fields most external communications, meaning she is often the first face (or voice) people see when they initially reach out to DC Justice Lab.  Iris works quickly, yet thoughtfully, to anticipate and respond to the needs of the organization and the team. Her adaptability and communication skills enable her to thrive in a fast-paced environment. 


Prior to her role as Special Assistant, Iris worked as an undergraduate intern at DC Justice Lab, conducting research and participating in DC Council hearings on criminal legal issues. Her work was primarily focused on community-based emergency response and solitary confinement issues. She also worked as a legislative intern for the University of Vermont, where she collected data for a state representative and attended committee meetings for the House Committee on Energy and Technology. 


Iris earned her BA from The University of Vermont, where she majored in Political Science and minored in Studio Art. During her studies, she was part of the Political Science Departmental Honors Program and was inducted into the National Political Honors Society, Pi Sigma Alpha.